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Archive for the ‘Long Island Pridefest’ Category

Flip the Script and Banish the Closets Beyond NIAW 2018

By Tracey Minella

May 4th, 2018 at 10:44 am

image: shutterstock

How do heterosexuals and LGBT members experience infertility? There are two different “scripts” for those suffering from infertility. One for heterosexual couples and the other for the LGBT community. Both can play out like horror movies for those unfortunate enough to be cast.

National Infertility Awareness Week (“NIAW”) was the brainchild of Resolve, The National Infertility Association. Each year the week– generally celebrated during the last week of April–has a different theme. The theme for 2018 was #FlipTheScript. As its name suggests, NIAW was created to recognize and support people suffering from infertility and to raise awareness of a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples.

In addition to raising awareness of infertility and supporting those suffering, NIAW is designed to mobilize forces to advocate for change and to get people talking—beyond just one week each year– so that the stigma associated with infertility can disappear and those suffering don’t need to add shame to the list of other emotions and fears that infertility already brings.

The International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART) defines infertility as “a disease characterized by the failure to establish a clinical pregnancy after 12 months of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse or due to an impairment of a person’s capacity to reproduce either as an individual or with his/her partner,” (emphasis added), according to the Resolve website*. The latter part of the definition was added only after years of advocacy by the LGBT community and its allies to expand the definition so it would be relevant, beneficial, and inclusive of the LGBT community which sought medical coverage for infertility treatment.

So, if infertility is defined differently for LGBTs and heterosexuals, how is the NIAW experience similar or different for both groups?

When infertility statistics are cited, the phrase “1 in 8” is a likely reference to heterosexual couples. For the vast majority of the LGBT community—including all lesbians and all gay men– it would be “8 in 8”. That’s because they (and many transsexuals) cannot get pregnant or get someone pregnant without the use of assisted reproductive technologies like intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), in-vitro fertilization (IVF), donor sperm, donor eggs, and/or gestational carriers.

For heterosexuals, the painful infertility stigma they experience is often born from feelings of failure and inadequacy upon learning that one partner or the other (or both) has a medical condition, problem, or disease that makes them unable to achieve or maintain a pregnancy as a couple. Society expects a heterosexual couple to be able to produce a baby the “old-fashioned way” so when they can’t, they often feel shame.

Looking at it that way, LGBT couples should be free of the stigma. Society doesn’t yet place the same expectation on LGBT couples to reproduce. For most, their infertility is simply due to a need to obtain the missing biological piece – – eggs or sperm – – to create a baby within the LGBT union. Not the same shame here. Society recognizes that LGBT couples are infertile by biological necessity. So, for those LGBT couples not further burdened with a specific infertility-causing disease or condition (like male factor infertility or poor egg quality or uterine fibroids) or an unexplained infertility diagnosis, society doesn’t place the same expectation of procreation on the union or the same stigma of shame and failure.

In fact, sometimes the opposite is true. Some haters oppose the LGBT’s pursuit of biological parenthood. Instead of fighting a social stigma of shame like heterosexuals, the LGBT community fights ignorance, intolerance, and prejudice of those who fail to recognize that all people regardless of sexual orientation have the right to become parents.

Social stigmas drive guilt, shame, fear, anger, and frustration. If we truly want to “flip the script” as National Infertility Awareness Week’s theme encourages us to do in 2018, we need to acknowledge the words, emotions, and actions that have been written into our “scripts” to date and change them.

To the heterosexuals, society’s harsh script (including certain religious influences) reads that you have what it takes as a couple to make a baby. We expect you to procreate. You should be able to do this without help. What kind of a man can’t get his wife pregnant? What is your worth as a woman if you can’t be a mother? So, when you can’t get pregnant, the message is “What’s wrong with you? We don’t understand you or support you or sympathize with you.” Couples who can’t procreate often feel like failures and feel shame or guilt. So, they don’t speak. They keep their struggles secret and suffer in silence due to this stigma.

To the LGBT community, the horrible script is a different version of the cold shoulder. It sometimes reads, (including certain religious influences) that even though you have the legal right to marry, we don’t recognize your union as one meant for procreation or parenthood. Your union isn’t “natural” so you can’t and shouldn’t become biological parents. Kids need a mommy and a daddy. “What’s wrong with you? We don’t understand you, support you or sympathize with you.”  LGBT couples, accustomed to haters and frankly tired from fighting for the right to everything, just want what most people want–the same rights to have a biological child if they so choose.

To this, we say #FlipTheScript.

To this we say, banish the closets. The LGBT community didn’t come out of the closet to go back inside…and they’re not going to leave their suffering heterosexual friends in there alone.  They haven’t fought so many battles for so long just to stop now. They have the right to marry. They’ve changed the definition of infertility to include the LGBT community. And armed with a definition that includes all people, the LGBT community and its heterosexual friends will continue the fight for compassionate, quality, accessible, affordable healthcare and insurance coverage for the assisted reproductive technologies necessary to overcome this barrier to parenthood.

In order to banish closets in which infertile LGBT and heterosexuals hide, we all need to step up the advocacy efforts and show society we’re loud, we’re proud, we all have a right to be parents and we all have a right to affordably access the medical technology to get us there. That’s when acceptance may eventually happen and stigmas may end. That’s when the only thing hiding in closets will be those clothes you swear you’re going to fit in again someday.

If you are interested in LGBT family-building, Long Island IVF has decades of experience helping the community become parents.  Please contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial consultation.

We are proud to partner with the LGBT Network to provide information, education, support, and access to the most advanced traditional and holistic assisted reproductive technologies. All while understanding, respecting, and being sensitive to the unique needs of the LGBT community.

And we are excited to again be a major sponsor of Pridefest this June!

In addition to Pridefest festivities, Long Island IVF and the LGBT Network will be offering our popular Building Families in the LGBT Community seminar on Thursday June 21, 2018 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Long Island IVF Melville office. It’s a free, casual, and informative session that addresses everything you would ever need to know about how you can become a parent through assisted reproductive technologies. All are welcome. No need to be a patient. Just click the link above to preregister now.

This year, Long Island IVF is celebrating a milestone–our 30th anniversary. If you are ready for parenthood, we would love the opportunity to assist you with your own milestone. Please follow us on Facebook or Twitter for info on our upcoming free events.

 

* https://resolve.org/infertility-101/what-is-infertility/

 

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One Year Later: Reflections on #OrlandoStrong and Hate Crimes against the LGBT Community

By Tracey Minella

June 12th, 2017 at 9:45 am

 

Image: Ryan McGuire/Gratisography.com


Today marks a somber day in LGBT history—one to reflect upon and remember.

Last June, from our sponsor table in the Family Services Pavilion at Long Island’s Pridefest 2016 celebration, the Long Island IVF team was able to witness and be a part of the pride and happiness of the LGBT community mingling peacefully and openly on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

Little did anyone know at that time that only hours after the event would end, the worst mass shooting in US history would happen in Orlando.  Fifty innocent lives would be taken and as many others would be injured. People just like those whose company we had just enjoyed. Regular people with their whole lives in front of them…targets of hatred in an increasingly ugly world. A world which in the months since then has become politically altered and alarmingly unstable for all—particularly the LGBT community.

It didn’t feel right to post Pridefest photos or talk of the positivity surrounding it in the wake of such a loss. But continued “radio silence” on Pridefest would be a disservice. It would be a lost opportunity to talk of and celebrate all that it was and, more importantly, all it must continue to be. There must be pride. There must be solidarity. In the face of hate, there must be love. And there must be real change.

There must be more than just a uniting of the LGBT community within itself –there must be support from those outside the LGBT community, too. Just as the world came together in vigils to support the LGBT community and to mourn those lost in Orlando, it must continue to look out for all people until the hatred is replaced by acceptance. Until there isn’t a need to designate “communities” anymore.

Prejudice and ignorance are frustratingly slow learners, so this change will require persistence. But despite the Orlando tragedy, we mustn’t lose sight of how far the gay rights movement has come, especially in recent years. And Pridefest is one of so many milestones of the movement. We mustn’t lose ground despite the political climate and a rising swell of previously-stifled but ever-brewing bigotry, hate, and violence.

Long Island IVF is proud to have supported the LGBT community and helped its members fulfill their dreams of parenthood for decades. None of us can undo these senseless deaths, but we can join together to create new life. If you’re ready to become parents, we can help you create your family. The next generation.

In the face of hate, there must be love.

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Long Island IVF Proudly Sponsors Long Island Pridefest 2017

By Tracey Minella

June 8th, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Long Island IVF is proud to once again be a major sponsor of this year’s LI Pridefest Weekend here on Long Island. Pridefest is really kicking it up a notch this year not only by moving the festivities to beautiful Long Beach, New York, but by offering a full weekend jam-packed with activities right on the beach. Does it get any better?

From beach parties, concerts, and the Rise with Pride parade to tons of other unique fun things like a carnival, 5K runs, drag bingo and a trapeze show, there is something for everyone’s tastes—singles, couples and families, young and old– and it runs from June 9-11, 2017. And we will be right there for all that Pride on the Beach!

LIIVF has been actively building families for the region’s LGBT community for decades due to its long-standing belief that every person has a right to be a parent and we have long-partnered with the Long Island’s LGBT Network. We pride our practice… which includes members of both the non-LGBT and LGBT communities… on acceptance and inclusion. And we address the unique aspects of LGBT family-building from both a personal and medical perspective. In many ways, your needs are the same as the non-LGBT community, but in some ways they are different. We get that.

Just stop by our booth at LI Pridefest Marketplace Fair on Sunday and meet some of the team. Our prior successful LGBT parents will stop by for impromptu reunions throughout the event, too, and are often eager to share their experiences as well. The Long Island IVF booth will be on the Boardwalk all day and night on Sunday June 11.

Not in the mood to chat long with all the festivities to see? We totally get that! Swing by and grab some of our informational brochures to read later. Enter our free raffle to win a relaxation basket! The forecast looks great, so come on down and meet us.

You can also get to know us later this month as we host “Family-Building the LGBT Way” on Thursday, June 29, 2017 from 6:30 until 8:30 pm. This very special event will be held in conjunction with the LGBT Network at Long Island IVF’s Melville office located at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York.  Dr. Steven Brenner joins other key LIIVF team members to bring you a seminar on everything you ever wanted to know about today’s LGBT Family-Building options. Please pre-register here for this free event. You can also email Lindsay at lmontello@liivf.com with any questions. Light refreshments will be served.

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So who is coming to Pridefest?!

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Long Island IVF Sponsors LI Pride 2016

By Tracey Minella

June 10th, 2016 at 9:16 am

Long Island IVF is proud to again be the sponsor of Long Island Pride’s Family Services Pavilion on June 11, 2016 in Suffolk County’s beautiful Heckscher Park in Huntington, NY. http://lgbtnetwork.org/pride.  There will be 10,000 Maniacs at this fun annual event—that’s the headliner musical act, of course!

LIIVF has been creating families for the region’s LGBT community for decades. We’ve always believed that every person has a right to be a parent. We pride our practice… which includes members of both the non-LGBT and LGBT communities… on acceptance and inclusion. And we address the unique aspects of LGBT family-building from both a personal and medical perspective. In many ways, your needs are the same as the non-LGBT community, but in some ways they are different. We get that and embrace it.

Why not stop by our booth at LI Pridefest and meet some of the team on Saturday! Our prior successful LGBT parents always stop by for impromptu reunions throughout the event, too, and are often eager to share their experiences as well. The Long Island IVF booth will be in the Health & Wellness area of the Family Services Pavilion the entire event, from noon until 5:00pm.

Don’t want to stay long or chat with so many festivities to see? Swing past and grab some of our fun giveaways, including bracelets, balloons, and informational brochures to read later. We’ve even got water bottles if it’s a hot one!

You can also get to know us later this month as we host “Family-Building the LGBT Way”, a very special event with the LGBT Network at our Long Island IVF office at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York on Monday June 27, 2016 at 6:30pm. Some of our doctors will join other key LIIVF team members to bring you a seminar on everything you ever wanted to know about today’s LGBT Family-Building options. Please pre-register for this free event by emailing lmontello@liivf.com. Light refreshments will be served.

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So who is coming to Pridefest?!

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016

It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!

The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.

We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 28 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help. 631-752-0606.

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Long Island IVF and LGBT Network Alliance

By Tracey Minella

April 7th, 2016 at 4:25 am

 

image courtesy of LGBT Network


Long Island IVF is proud to partner with the Long Island LGBT Network as the exclusive family planning service for the LGBT Network community.

On April 7, 2016, Long Island IVF physicians, Dr. David Kreiner, Dr. Steven Brenner, and Dr. Satu Kuokkanen presented a check in the sum of $17,000 to LGBT Network’s Jonathan Chenkin, Development Officer for Corporate and Business Relations and Robert Vitelli, COO – Director of Development. This donation will fund and support our mutual educational and outreach efforts here on Long Island.

Long Island IVF has been building families in the LGBT community for decades and has long practiced its belief that every person is entitle to become a parent. Not only are some staff members also members of the LGBT community, but our entire staff has been trained to be sensitive to our LGBT patients. Your needs and treatment are unique and your comfort is important to us.

Long Island IVF will again sponsor the Family Services Pavilion at the Long Island Pridefest on June 11, 2016. Be sure to come by and meet our team. Some of our patients and their little miracles often drop in, and they love to share their LIIVF family-building experience with others just starting their journeys.

If you’d like to schedule an initial consultation with one of our physicians, please call 877-838-BABY today. With six offices across Long Island and Brooklyn, there is sure to be one convenient to you.

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Will we see you at Pridefest?

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016

It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!

The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.

We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 28 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help. 631-752-0606.

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Long Island IVF Hosts Seminar: “Family-Building the LGBT Way”

By Tracey Minella

June 15th, 2015 at 11:42 am

If you’d like information on family-building from a practice that’s been helping the LGBT community become parents for decades, we’ve got the event for you!

We’ve partnered up with the LGBT Network to bring you a very special seminar on June 25, 2015 from 7-9 pm at the LGBT Network Community Center in Woodbury, NY. http://lgbtnetwork.org/the-center

Long Island IVF’s “Family-Building the LGBT Way” seminar will answer everything you ever wanted to know about today’s LGBT Family-Building options. Two of our reproductive endocrinologists, Dr. Steven Brenner, and Dr. Satu Kuokkanen, along with other key LIIVF team members will introduce you to the fascinating world of assisted reproductive technology and how it’s used to help the LGBT community become parents. In addition, Vicky Loveland, our Donor Egg Coordinator and Melissa Brisman, Esq. owner and founder of Reproductive Possibilities http://www.reproductivepossibilities.com/ will be there. Ms. Brisman is a nationally known reproductive attorney.

LGBT family-building is different in many ways from so-called “traditional” family-building. As a practice made up of both LGBT and non-LGBT employees, we truly understand the nuances that make your family-building adventure unique to you.

Whether you met us briefly at LI Pridefest 2015 and you’d like to learn more about our LGBT Family Building program at Long Island IVF, or this is the first time you’ll be meeting us, we hope you’ll join us at the LGBT Network Community Center to learn about the many ways we can help you achieve your dream of parenthood.

Please pre-register for this free event by emailing lmontello@liivf.com. Light refreshments will be served.

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Will you be attending the “Family-Building the LGBT Way” seminar? Do you have any specific questions or particular topics you want to see covered?

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015

It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 contest.

The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.

We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 27 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help.

 

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Long Island IVF Sponsors LI Pridefest 2015

By Tracey Minella

June 10th, 2015 at 6:49 pm

 

Long Island IVF is proud to be a major sponsor of this year’s LI Pridefest on June 13, 2015 in Suffolk County’s beautiful Heckscher Park in Huntington, NY. http://lgbtnetwork.org/pride

LIIVF has been actively building families for the region’s LGBT community for decades due to its long-standing belief that every person has a right to be a parent. We pride our practice… which includes members of both the non-LGBT and LGBT communities… on acceptance and inclusion. And we address the unique aspects of LGBT family-building from both a personal and medical perspective. In many ways, your needs are the same as the non-LGBT community, but in some ways they are different. We get that.

Just stop by our booth at LI Pridefest and meet some of the team. Our prior successful LGBT parents will stop by for impromptu reunions throughout the event, too, and are often eager to share their experiences as well. The Long Island IVF booth will be in the Health & Wellness area of the Family Services Pavilion the entire event, from 1:00 until 6:00pm.

Not in the mood to chat long with all the festivities to see? Swing past and grab some of our fun giveaways, including bracelets, balloons, and informational brochures to read later. We’ve even got water bottles if it’s a hot one!

You can also get to know us later this month as we host a very special event at the LGBT Network Community Center in Woodbury, NY on June 25, 2015 from 6:00- 9:00 pm. Long Island IVF’s “Family-Building the LGBT Way”. Two of our doctors, Steven Brenner, MD and Satu Kuokkanen, join other key LIIVF team members to bring you a seminar on everything you ever wanted to know about today’s LGBT Family-Building options. Please pre-register for this free event by emailing lmontello@liivf.com. Light refreshments will be served.

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So who is coming to Pridefest?!

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Infertiles Support Caitlin Jenner and LGBT Community

By Tracey Minella

June 4th, 2015 at 8:30 am

 

image: Stuart Miles/ freedigitalphotos.net


On the heels of Kimye’s pregnancy announcement this week, comes other bombshell news from the same family. In fact, the bombshell is the news.

Caitlin Jenner, the Olympian formerly known as Bruce, debuted her new transgender self in Vanity Fair. Apart from a few trolls who are actually petitioning to strip her of her medals, this news has received a primarily…and deservedly… positive reaction from both the straight and GLBT communities. She’s free at last.

Of course, the many complex psychological issues that surround the transgender decision and process are not something any of us can truly understand unless we’re living it, but there are some common themes that strike a chord with the infertile community. And I think these similarities have generated the overwhelmingly positive response to Jenner’s transformation.

Infertile people can relate to not being able to live the life they dreamed of… and to being denied by some twist of genetic fate of a significant, fundamental right. We know the frustration of having our pain misunderstood or dismissed by society in general. Some of us live with the secret or come out and find no support. We may fear we’ll lose our jobs if our secret is discovered. And we feel like prisoners betrayed by our bodies, too. Not in the same way, but similar enough to generate great empathy for the journey Caitlin and those like her face. We need something from our bodies that we can’t have…something that needs medical intervention to achieve…something that will finally complete us and allow us to be happy.

What a burden for any transgender individual to bear! But how much worse must it have been for Caitlin Jenner, who for millions of people for almost 4 decades represented the embodiment of the ideal man? A chiseled, handsome, athletic, Olympic gold medalist whose celebrity never faded enough to allow him to express his true female self publicly until finally he found the courage to break free. Where others have a more manageable number of people to come out to, Jenner’s journey made world-wide news. What a wonderful role model for transgender awareness. We wish her only the best as she begins this new chapter of her life.

Long Island IVF has been helping the LGBT community on Long Island build its families for decades and is proud to be a sponsor of LI Pridefest 2015. We believe that all people have the fundamental right to a family. Please contact us if you need assistance building your family or come meet us on June 13, 2015 at the LI Pridefest in the Family Services Pavilion. We’re looking forward to reuniting with the families we’ve helped create and to meeting new friends. Or come to our seminar on LGBT family building at the LGBT Network Community Center in Woodbury, NY on Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 7-9pm. Email lmontello@liivf.com to reserve your spot.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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How do you feel about Caitlin Jenner’s transition? (Please keep responses respectful.)

 

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